AbCellera secures COVID-19 drug development funding

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

May 4, 2020 -- AbCellera Biologics has secured $175.6 million Canadian ($124.7 million U.S.) from the Canadian government's Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Strategic Innovation Fund to advance its efforts to discover antibodies for use in antiviral COVID-19 drugs.

The company developed an antibody discovery platform to search blood samples of people who have recovered from COVID-19. In a collaboration with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, it has identified more than 500 anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies since February 25.

Under phase I of the Canadian collaboration, AbCellera will improve its antibody discovery platform for finding COVID-19 antibodies, while under phase II, it will build a new good manufacturing practice (GMP) facility in Vancouver to produce antibodies from patient samples for clinical trials.

AbCellera recently announced a partnership with Eli Lilly to develop a COVID-19 treatment, with clinical trials beginning in July, it said.

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